There are 4 Key Steps to Consider
Before Replacing Your Asphalt Driveway
Are you considering replacing your asphalt driveway? If you're from the Red Deer area, or any of the surrounding suburbs, you've experience many Alberta winters - which can easily cause many problems with an asphalt driveway. Maybe you have a cracked driveway, need extensive driveway repairs or just have a driveway that is 15-30 years old.
If that's the case you're like many Alberta homeowners, you know you need a new driveway, but you're not exactly sure where to start ... or what questions to ask. You're not alone. Having your asphalt driveway replaced or fixed is not an everyday occurrence ... matter of fact; most homeowners have never done it before. If they have, they did it 30 years ago when building technology and techniques were much different.
The following information will help you begin the process of understanding the right questions to ask and what to look for when replacing your asphalt driveway ...
Dear Isaac, I LOVE my new driveway and had such a great experience with you and your company that I wish I had another driveway to pave. Keep up the great, friendly and beautiful work! - Kathleen, Lethbridge, Alberta
Step 1: Removing The Old Sub-Base
Does the old sub-base under my asphalt driveway need to be removed?
If the current base is contaminated or poor-meaning it's made of clay or some other inferior soil mix, then it will need to be completely dug out and replaced with road base. These types of bases are highly compactable and very strong. If the existing base is strong, it can be used as part of the ongoing sub-base. The ultimate goal is to make sure a solid compacted base is created before the asphalt is laid over the top.
What happens to my existing driveway?
To remove your existing asphalt driveway, a skid loader or track loader should be used. Sometimes a saw is needed to get started on a the driveway. Once the driveway is broken up, it is then hauled to a dump site for recycling.
Can I simply have them put a new layer of asphalt over the old one?
Yes ... In a small percentage of cases, putting what is called an "overlay" over your existing asphalt can be done. But keep in mind, anywhere there are cracks or the asphalt is broken, the cracks will reappear through the new layer. This is called reflective cracking. The cracked area must be removed first.
Step 2: Will there be any hidden costs not on the estimate?
One of the biggest problems homeowners have with contractors is with hidden costs. Is there really ever a good reason that the bill arrives and it's considerably higher then the original bid? Of course not; and there's no excuse for a homeowner to be kept in the dark about them? An important question to ask is; how many jobs have you done where the bill is the same as the estimate? Again, if they hesitate or can't give you a clear idea on the percentage of jobs that they do that meet their estimates - guess what? Most of them are probably higher! This should be a huge red flag, and cause to look for a company you can really trust.
Of course there are times when the homeowner makes changes at the last minute. But these changes should never be hidden. The homeowner should approve all changes and clearly know the costs of the additional work - before it's completed. Occasionally, there are additional layers of asphalt that were impossible to anticipate before the estimate was given - but again, the additional cost should be communicated immediately to you.
Step 3: Time-line - how long will the job take - start to finish?
Depending upon the size of the driveway and condition of the sub-grade, the base work will typically take half of a day. The actual paving, on a 1000 square foot driveway, will be done in 2-4 hours. Obviously, larger driveways take more time.
Step 4: How durable will the new driveway be - how long before it cracks and is there any type of guarantee?
How long the driveway will last depends on several factors. Typically, with proper maintenance an asphalt driveway should last between 15 - 30 years. Factors like sun, harsh winters, sub-grade conditions, and usage all take a toll on the life of your driveway. Although asphalt is strong and durable, it is also somewhat yielding. It will move and flex slightly with seasonal freezing and thawing, and it can sometimes scar from heavy weight or sharp objects.
Over time, asphalt can become dry and brittle from the elements, therefore, the older it is the more vulnerable it will become to cracking. With a little bit of maintenance, such as sealing and repairing damage early, you'll be assured to get the most out your driveway.
How soft will my new driveway be ... and for how long?
Asphalt needs time to harden and cure. Your driveway will usually be fully cured within 3-6 months; until then it will remain pliable and soft. We recommend keeping automobiles off for at least 7 days, and longer in hot weather. Even when cured asphalt can sometimes soften in extremely hot weather and harden as temperatures fall.
To avoid scarring, do not pull out too fast, pull in to quickly, or drive to fast on your asphalt driveway. During the initial curing time, don't park in the same spot all the time and don't use a jack stand or car ramps unless you put a piece of plywood underneath to distribute the weight. Do not turn your steering wheel back and forth when your car is not moving.
Your Next Step
Request an Estimate
Request a FREE no obligation professional estimate and consultation. Asphalt Driveway Cost